So here is the video from the panel with Kate Kelton & Richard Donat from the Syfy show Haven. Sorry about the crappy sound quality, I ended up having to shoot it on my phone… Also, the boys and girls from 501st Legion go past at one point and rather drown things out! Don’t worry it doesn’t last too long – hey it’s Comic Con, what’ya gonna do? Tell a Sith Lord he needs to keep the noise down?..
This weekend has seen MCM Comic Con land in Birmingham, and being just down the road, I thought it only right we should take a look!
First Impressions, Costumes & Comics
This was actually the first MCM Con i’d covered so I was interested to see what it would be like. This Birmingham Con took up 2 massive halls of the NEC. One dedicated to memorabilia the other to comics. Wandering around, there were naturally a lot of people enjoying themselves in costume. Some had made rather more effort than others, but they all seem to be having a good time. I think it’s fair to say Deadpool is proving somewhat popular this year with both young and old. I also spotted a large number of Harley Quinns and of course, male and female Doctors from Doctor Who – I’d say a good balance between 10th and 11th incarnations… I did see a number of Fez’s… but then, as we all know, Fez’s are cool. ;) A special shout out really has to go to the lady Doc Ock who was standing around having photos taken with Spidey, for her frankly, spectacular outfit, complete with mechanical arms!
Looking through some of the stands, there were lots of great artists and independent comic book writers. The one that really caught my eye though was ‘Bearland’ from Subversive Comics. After the Zombear Apocalypse, the Bear-with-no-name travels across a Zombie infested landscape to find the bear responsible… The zombie apocalypse with teddy bears! What’s not to love!
There were no shortage of people signing autographs, some bigger stars than others. A few people that have had minor roles in Star Wars, or Doctor Who, along with some other well know British TV faces. Not unsurprisingly, Hannah Spearritt & Ben Mansfield from Primeval were proving popular with the autograph hunters, as was Richard Kiel (aka Jaws from James Bond). I also spotted Nabil Shaban who played Sil in the 6th Doctor’s serial ‘Vengeance on Varos’. Sil was a character that scared the crap out of me as a child, and it didn’t help that when I saw him, he was in the section of the Con that had a selection of live animals, and he was busy ‘petting’ a tarantula!
Kate Kelton & Richard Donat from the Syfy show Haven were also there, and I did have a brief chat with them as I went up to get an autograph after their panel. It was also a this point an incident occurred which made me fall a little in love with Kate. You see, it appears she is a MASSIVE Star Wars geek, and it just so happens the guys from The UK based 501st Legion were there in, ahem, force… So when Darth Vader himself decided to pay Miss Kelton a visit just as I got to the front of the queue, she had, what I can only describe as a geekgasm. It was really rather adorable, and she just freaked out and had her photo taken with the Sith Lord and his Imperial Guard. She did return to the signing table eventually with an ear-to-ear grin which I suspect still hasn’t faded. J.J. if you’re reading this, offer Kate a role in the new movie, and you’ll have a friend for life!
Kate Kelton with Darth Vader
I should say, the 501st Legion were brilliant throughout the time I was at the Con. They seem to always stay in character, and it’s not uncommon to see Stormtroopers wandering through the halls mock ‘harassing’ willing con-goers. The best incident I saw of this was when Vader himself ‘caught’ a Star Trek fan in full costume, and had him prostrate himself in front of the sith lord (and onlooking crowd) and declare ‘the Federation is nothing, long live the Empire’. It was all in good fun, and the Federation officer (who i’m sure will be court-martialed for his cowardice) was eventually let go.
There were a number of interesting panels at the Con. First up was the Haven panel with Kate Kelton & Richard Donat, who answered lots of fan questions about the show. It was an interesting mix as this was Kate’s first Con, and she was clearly pretty hyper, where as Richard was far more laid back. Both utterly charming though. Favourite answer to the question ‘which other character would you like to play on the show’ came from Kate “Duke. I loooovee Duke as he’s such a smart-ass. Although if I got to play Nathan, I get to kiss Audrey, so that would be fun!” Geek temperatures rising around the room! See the video of the Haven panel here.
Next panel I caught was with prolific Manga voice over artist Todd Haberkorn, although the panel I caught was more related to the work on the brilliant web series Star Trek Continues in which he plays Spock. It’s shot in the original 60′s tv show style, and picks up right after the end of the last episode. They’ve shot 1 full episode so far, and thanks to a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, are shooting 4 more next year.
Finally, the big one. The Red Dwarf panel. This included Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn, Danny John-Jules, and Hatty Hayridge, all who where on top form. Many questions from fans about how they got the roles, and favourite episodes and jokes, which resulted it Chris and Rob reenacting the classic “Are you sure sir, it’ll mean changing the bulb” line. There was also some discussion about who’s most disruptive on set, to which Chris replied “We’re all consummate professionals these days”… and then Rob goes on to relate a story of how Craig has a habit of setting fire to his scripts.
Overall, I’ve had a blast over the past 2 days. I’ve met some great people (in some amazing costumes!) and seen some very entertaining panels. If you get a chance to go then do it, you won’t regret it. Lovely people, and you may even get the chance to meet Darth Vader!
MCM Comic Con Birmingham 2013 Gallery
We’ve mentioned Almost Human a number of times, and it’s a show that has us really excited for a number of reasons:
- It’s from Fringe writer & executive producer J.H. Wyman with the backing of J.J. Abrams.
- It’s stars Karl Urban (Judge Dredd, Star Trek) and Michael Ealy (FlashForward, The Good Wife).
- It’s a proper, balls to the wall, scifi, with a futuristic setting and androids as major characters.
- It looks completely awesome!
No news on when it’ll reach out shores yet, but i’d be surprised if it wasn’t sooner rather than later (on Sky 1 or Fox), given the interest. I suspect it’s got a hefty price tag attached to it which means they maybe want to wait to see how it plays out natively first.
Airs this Sunday (17th Nov) in the US. but keep an eye out on Almost Human’s uk air dates page from more info!
Gravity stars academy award winners Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and George Clooney (Syriana) in a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón (Children Of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.)
Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Cooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness…
Pretty much every report from this movie has been that’s it’s incredible, and has to be seen in the cinema on the biggest screen you can find! You can see what you think for yourselves when Gravity hits UK cinema screens on the 8th November 2013!
This little oddity popped up on the internets overnight. A new trailer called ‘Strangers’ from JJ Abrams ‘Bad Robot’… and that’s about all I can tell you about it at the moment! I don’t know if ‘Strangers’ is the name of the project or just the trailer. I don’t know if it’s a TV show or movie. All I know is it’s from Bad Robot, and that’s always interesting!
With movies such as Fast & Furious 6 doing so well in cinemas right now, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some iconic cars from our other great love – video games! I’ve avoided putting in cars from a lot of racing car games, or the GTA series, as it’s rare for one car to stand out from the huge range you have to play with. I’ve rather focused on individual cars that play a major part in a particular game!
5. Outrun - Ferrari Testarossa
Ahh, yes. The classic 1986 arcade game from Sega… This makes my list, due to Outrun evoking memories for me of trips various sea side resorts as a child. The Ferrari Testarossa is the only genuine car in my list, although it may as we be have been fictional given the chances I’d ever have of owning one.
Not only is the Testarossa a classic car in it’s own right, but it’s the central part of a classic, award winning, video game series, which became one of the best-selling games of all time. It has of course made appearances in other video games since, but Outrun was the one that really put the car centre stage.
4. Spy Hunter - G-6155 Interceptor
Another game from my youth. Spy Hunter’s G-6155 Interceptor was the fictional car that every kid in 1983 wanted… As the title suggests, the object of this 2D top-down scroller was to hunt spys in your supercar, by blowing them off the road, whilst protecting innocent civillians… mostly…
The car came with machine guns, but with the help of the occasional ‘Weapons Truck’, you could add on things link smoke screens, oil slicks, or even missiles!
My memories of Spy Hunter was that it wasn’t the easiest game in the world, however, when you ‘died’ you got a new G-6155 Interceptor delivered to you from the back of a truck, all shiny and new! Bargin!
3. Half-Life 2 – Buggy/Scout Car
As we’re still wait for Half-Life 3 to make an appearance (get a move on Gabe!), we can reminisce about the only vehicle to appear in HL2′s main game. It was a one-seater dune buggy type affair which sped you along the coast road named ‘Highway 17′ to reach Nova Prospekt.
Additional features include the energy beam shooting ’Tau Cannon’, and the ‘AGGHH i’m going to die!’ turbo boost, which was great if you wanted to go in a straight line, but if you hit anything, or needed to control direction, you where screwed.
2. Halo – Warthog
The ‘Warthog‘, or M12 Force Application Vehicle, to give it it’s proper title, is probably the most well know of the Halo vehicles. It’s a ATV designed for use by a fast, jeep-type unit, allowing infantry to get around the field of battle with ease.
Unlike some of the other gaming cars in this list, it actually controlled pretty well. Comes with space for 3 people (driver, gunner, and passenger), and has a M41 chain gun mounted on the back, that can rip through the nearest Covenant person or vehicle with ease! The Warthog has actually been so popular, that a number of people have actually built real-life versions of it!
1. Star Wars Galaxies - X-34 Landspeeder
Okay, okay… I know it doesn’t have wheels, but it is to all intent and purpose the ‘car’ of the Star Wars universe. As it grew, Star Wars Galaxies added a number of Landspeeders, but the classic X-34 was the one that most players had tucked away… Even if they didn’t use it all that much…
The main mode of travel for a lot of people in game were Speeder Bikes, but the Landspeeders had the advantage that you could carry your mates along with you. The x-34 model wasn’t very fast, but, it was great for cruising around Naboo in, or for a leisurely shopping trip between the player-made towns on Tatooine. Plus it looked cool! The X-34 Landspeeder was of course, the model Luke sold to fund their escape on the Millennium Falcon. You can keep your ‘slicker’ XP-38 models. For me, the X-34 will always be top!
if you want to try out some car games online, why not visit http://cargames.org.uk